Science and the Environment

Science and the Environment
5:05 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Mammoth Site Heads to White House in Hopes of Becoming Nat’l Monument

The Waco Mammoth Site
Jill Ament

For several years now, the city of Waco has been trying to make the historic mammoth site a national monument. The city council decided last night to seek executive action from President Obama to make this resolution a reality. 


Read more
Science and the Environment
1:41 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Research Links Drilling Activities to Water Contamination in North Texas

The study explored different scenarios that may have accounted for elevated methane in the groundwater.
Courtesy of Thomas Darrah, OSU

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 11:34 am

For years, some residents of Parker County in North Texas have believed that nearby gas drilling was responsible for high levels of methane in neighborhood water wells. Research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences appears to back that up.

The study looked at water contamination in Texas and Pennsylvania. It suggests that faulty cement jobs on drilling wells could be at fault in North Texas. Cement is poured between the rock wall and the steel tubing of oil and gas wells to block contaminants.

“We think either there isn’t enough cement in this location or more likely there are cracks or imperfections in that cement. That’s what allowed the strong gas to move up through the well and then out into peoples drinking water,” says Robert Jackson, a professor of environmental sciences at Stanford, who co-authored of the study.

Read more
Earthquakes
2:09 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Three Earthquakes Rattle Texas So Far This Week

Regulators are trying to craft rules to respond to the dramatic uptick in quakes

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 3:47 pm

It’s been a shaky week in Texas with two small earthquakes rattling the Dallas-Fort Worth area and another slightly more powerful quake detected in South Texas.

On Sunday, the first quake measuring magnitude 2.4 struck near Arlington. It prompted some residents to call 9-1-1 after feeling their houses shake and hearing “explosions,” according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

Earthquakes are often accompanied by loud “booms,” something that has become a source of anxiety in newly quake-prone parts of the state.

Read more
Science and the Environment
8:35 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Scientists Doubt That Meteor Caused Crater In Nicaragua

A handout picture provided by Nicaraguan Army on Monday shows the place where what was first reported as a meteorite fell close to International Airport Augusto Sandino, in Managua, Nicaragua.
Nicaraguan Army/ Handout EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 10:09 am

We reported on Monday that a meteor, thought possibly to be a chunk of an Earth-passing asteroid, was the cause of a 40-foot crater outside the international airport in the Nicaraguan capital.

But astronomers and NASA scientists are now casting doubt on that possibility. The biggest mystery is that no one so far has reported seeing a flash of light in the sky that would be expected to accompany such a meteor strike.

Read more
Space
8:53 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Russian Space Experiment On Gecko Sex Goes Awry

A Russian capsule that housed a gecko space-sex experiment. The geckos all died.
ROSCOSMOS

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 6:31 pm

Space is a dangerous place. That message resonated again on Monday, when the Russian Federal Space Agency — Roscosmos — announced that a team of experimental geckos tasked with copulating while in orbit did not survive their journey.

"All geckos, unfortunately, died," the space agency said in a terse statement.

Roscosmos is launching an investigation into the exact circumstances surrounding the geckos' deaths, but the mission seemed star-crossed from the start.

Read more

Pages